Cooking pasta (or vegetables) to a perfect doneness; not too firm nor
too soft. In Italian, means "to the tooth."
A thickening agent similar to cornstarch, which can be frozen after
mixing with other ingredients, but should not be paired with dairy products
or used in heavy sauces.
A blend of cream of tartar, sodium aluminum sulfate, and/or baking soda,
which acts as a rising agent but does not add a yeast flavor. Cannot
be a substitute for baking soda.
A single alkaline agent that must be combined with "wet" acids
such as lime juice, vinegar, or yogurt, to create a rise in baked goods.
Can then be a substitute for baking powder.
A brief and precise steaming or boiling process to enhance the color
of some fresh vegetables and fruits; also used to prepare foods for
freezing, removing skins, and canning.
The process of tenderizing tougher, larger cuts of meats, including
vegetables, through slow covered cooking with a liquid to create moist
A salt bath for marinating poultry, fish, and meats that can enhance
moisture content and flavor.
Often used interchangeably with stock, but is technically a more fluid,
reduced fat reduction from meaty parts, sometimes with vegetables added,
and strained after approximately three hours of simmering. Produced
from, but cannot be used to make, stock.
The browning and thickening of sugar. In the cases of some vegetables,
such as onions, the release of natural sugars when cooked in heated
oil or butter.
A method for obtaining a clearer liquid by turning impurities or fats
into solids that rise to the surface for skimming.
Releasing the cooked remaining juices and bits that remain in a pan
after cooking for use in gravies and sauces, usually by adding wine.
Coating food with a dry mixture such as flour, cornmeal, and breadcrumb
bases before adding to an egg or milk wash.
The blending of two incompatible liquids, typically by using an emulsifying
agent. Oil and water can be blended by careful mixing with the introduction
of an agent such as mustard. Mayonnaise and Béarnaise sauces
are two examples of the emulsification process.
(flam-BAY) Flaming a dish containing alcohol, which enriches the flavor
but leaves no inebriating qualities behind.
A protein combination found in many flours that is activated with water
and kneading to produce the sticky threads that trap yeast and cause
dough to rise. Gluten is also found in many other products including
hot chocolate, packaged grated cheese, and roasted nuts.
Mainly native to the Northern Hemisphere and derived from flowers, leaves,
roots, and seeds.
The art of safely cooking with a heat source that is some distance from
the food, including smoking in which a firebox funnels heat into the
chamber or placing charcoal briquettes to one side of a grill with food
on the opposite end.
The extraction of flavor from a substance by immersing it in a hot or
cold liquid. Some herbs, for instance are added to cold oils for dressings,
while tea combined with hot water creates an infusion.
Thinly sliced food, typically vegetables, cut to about the size of matchsticks
but may vary in length.
A thin juice accompanying foods such as roast beef that is often created
by deglazing the cooking pan. The term "au jus" means "served
with juice" while a "jus lie" is a thickened version.
Crystal-sized or flaked salt; not kosher in itself, but used to brine
or cook kosher foods and a popular ingredient in many recipes.
A liquid mix that is used to tenderize and flavor uncooked food; typically
contains oils, acids, spices, and herbs.
(meer-PWAH) A classic blend of specific diced ingredients used as a
base for soups and solid foods; namely, 1 part carrots, 1 part celery,
and 2 parts onions sauteed in butter or oil; can add herbs if desired.
Mise en place
(MEEZ-awn-plaws) A frequently used French term for the food preparation
process, meaning all ingredients are cleaned, chopped, and measured
before the start of cooking a dish or meal, which also adds efficiency
The original five sauces from which all other sauces are made, including
Bechamel (pale), Espagnole (brown), Hollandaise (emulsified), tomato
(red), and Veloute (blond). Mayonnaise and vinaigrette were later added
and labeled "contemporary" mother sauces.
Cooking utensils and containers, including stainless steel, that won't
interact with acids, alkalines, and sulfuric compounds in foods such
as tomato bases, dairy, fruits, alcohol, and some vegetables.
Heart-healthy oils derived from green olives and produced from single
or multiple extractions with virgin and extra-virgin varieties being
best for table use while "pure" oil is the lowest quality,
but recommended for cooking with its high smoke point.
Meaning "paper" in French, referring to handmade parchment
or foil packets in which food is placed for steaming and is a healthy
alternative that is also quick to prepare.
Cooking foods to about a fifty percent doneness before transferring
immediately to a second phase of cooking to complete the process.
(paw-TAY) A paste of any type, generally referring to animal and vegetable
bases and may be smooth for spreading or firmer for slicing or baking.
Grilling or oven cooking with wooden boards, such as Western red cedar,
on which food is placed to add smoky flavors.
A cooking method in which food is immersed in liquid and maintained
at a low boil until done.
Boiling liquids such as soups and sauces, usually uncovered, until volume
has thickened and become reduced through moisture evaporation.
A thickener made from a fat and flour mixture with liquid slowly added
to create sauces and soups. White and blond roux often use a butter
base while a brown roux includes drippings or lard and is cooked longer.
A dry seasoning mixture of spices, herbs, and often sugars that enhance
the flavors of meats and other foods. Sometimes applied ahead of time
or added just before grilling, frying, or baking.
A cheesecloth pouch that holds various herbs and is dropped into simmering
liquids to add flavor without dispersing the ingredients.
Quickly browning foods in a skillet of hot oil or butter without absorbing
A fat or oil base, in either liquid or solid form, that's derived from
animal or vegetable products and typically has a high smoke point, but
also adds flavor to baked goods.
The hottest temperature any oil can reach before it begins to smoke
and starts to become dangerously combustible.
Almost always native to the Southern Hemisphere and produced from bark,
fruits, nuts, and seeds.
A thicker reduction of liquid from meaty and bony parts with vegetables
added and skimmed after about six hours of simmering. Used to create
broths with the addition of water. Can also be vegetarian-based.
Referring to the raw fish itself, although a side ingredient may accompany
In general terms, this means the presentation of raw fish in its bed
of rice or a combination of ingredients.
A technique to avoid setting or overcooking some foods by removing a
portion of the warmed mixture, cooling it, and slowing adding it back
in before blending with other ingredients.
A product that is prepared without the use of yeast, including tortillas
and many breads from ethnic cuisines.
Generally refined for use in high heat frying, with many featuring healthful
properties such as high ratios of monounsaturated/polyunsaturated fats
and Omega-6 fatty acids. Unrefined versions are used as salad dressings
and often in sauces.
A slightly milder form of black pepper that is often used in lighter-colored
sauces and soups to eliminate the appearance of specks. It is a matured
version of peppercorn, while black pepper is the unripened stage.
An additive that works to bind ingredients and create elasticity when
using gluten-free flours; also found in toothpaste, ice cream, and a
host of other products.
The organism that creates the rise in foods after mixing by releasing
carbon dioxide. "Active dry yeast" is most commonly used for
hand-kneading, while "rapid rise" produces less flavor, but
can be used in bread machines.
The shavings from a fruit's outer colored layer, or rind, that provides
stronger flavoring in foods due to the high oil content.